Sant Antoni de Viana

Sant Antoni de Viana 2There are a lot of saints in Spain. Sant Antoni, for instance, whose saint’s day is being celebrated on January 17th (today), is invariably referred to as Sant Antoni de Viana, or Sant Antoni Abat or even Sant Antoniet. I can’t give you an explanation for that. I just know that they hold him dear, here in Mallorca. In Manacor, for instance, the saint is regarded as the patron saint of the town.

Sant Antoni de Viana 1Last night, completes (Compline or Night Prayer, Prayers at the End of the Day) were celebrated at the parish church there attended by all the local dignitaries, with heavy police presence all around. During the afternoon, numerous large bonfires hab been erected, some of which were lavishly ornate, showing the saint in various acts of temptation by the devil, only to be burnt to the ground a few hours later in the presence of a cheerful crowd.

Sant Antoni de Viana 3The display shown above with the saint as the devil’s wedding photographer won the trophy for the first prize in the Foguerons competition. Right after winning, it all went up in flames and smoke. Not the 350 € prize money, I guess. The display had probably cost more than that just in material. Oh well. C’est la vie.

Sant Antoni de Viana 4Until next year. Molts d’anys.

P. S. Beneïdes (animal blessings) will be celebrated in Manacor today, January 17th, at 11h00. Other pueblos may have different itineraries; please check locally.

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